ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Whenever a Yankee slides out of an MRI tube, the club holds its breath, because too many times this season the reader of the test delivers bad news to general manager Brian Cashman.
Fortunately for the Yankees, that wasn’t the case Thursday morning, when Gio Urshela’s MRI exam didn’t reveal any real damage to the third baseman’s left glute muscle.
Instead of flying with the Yankees to Florida after Wednesday night’s Subway Series win over the Mets at Citi Field, Urshela stayed in New York and underwent the test while teammates were attempting to recover from a 3:30 a.m. arrival in the Tampa Bay area.
“I woke up to two pieces of good news,’’ Aaron Boone said of a call from Cashman. “That Gio was OK and Gleyber [Torres] was going to the All-Star Game.’’
When Urshela toured the bases after homering in the sixth inning Wednesday night (right after Didi Gregorius also had homered) he was noticeably limping. Urshela remained in the game and even made an incredible stop of a Jeff McNeil grounder and threw out the Mets outfielder from his backside in the eighth inning.
“The MRI was clean,’’ Boone said before the Yankees’ 8-4 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field. “We wanted to make sure there were no muscle strains or anything like that. Being the Fourth of July we thought we had a better chance of keeping him back and get him in somewhere early. It looks like it has worked out and getting him back is good news.’’
Urshela entered the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement at third base. He drew a leadoff walk in the 10th that ignited a five-run inning for the Yankees.
DJ LeMahieu started his 24th game at third base with Mike Ford starting at first for a fifth time. When Urshela entered, LeMahieu shifted to first.